December 15, 2020

Interview with Rachel Haven

As Rachel completes her placement year at C+A Design, we find out what she has learnt during her time in the company.

Rachel joined C+A Design as a Part One, having graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Structural Engineering and Architecture. During her year in the company she has played a pivotal role in residential projects, as well as working on schemes in the retail and industrial sector. Rachel is moving on in August 2021 to broaden her experience by working for an Engineering company in London.

Before she left, we caught up with her to find out how her year at C+A Design had been.

Hi Rachel, how was your time at C+A Design?

Good! I learnt a lot during my time at the company and found the work varied and interesting. I was fortunate that I didn’t work on the same thing for more than a few days at a time. The team are great and I enjoyed getting to know them through ‘Daily Hello’ meetings (online) each morning and working occasionally in the office. As I worked for the company during the pandemic, I spent most of my time working from home, but still felt quickly integrated into the team as everyone is so friendly.

What have you learnt?

I started work having just graduated from university, so learning how the industry works was invaluable. I saw all the stages of the industry firsthand and how the legal side of the sector works. At the start of my time in the company, I did a Revit training course which was really helpful and then built on those skills over the course of the year. I also learnt a lot about how petrol stations work – something which I knew nothing about before!

What was your most enjoyable project?

There were a couple. I liked working on the Shrubberies project as I got to have more design input in this project and it was interesting to see the design process back and forth with the client. I also really enjoyed the Ascona Machynlleth project, as I took the lead on it and did the design and quotes for surveys.

What will you remember in 10 years time?

As well as the team, I’ll remember how much I learnt during this year. Putting things into practice that I learnt at University has been extremely helpful; things I barely knew at the start of the year now feel like second nature. It’s great to look back on the work I did at the start of my time in the company and see how far I’ve come!

Any advice for new graduates?

The main things I’d say are: don’t worry if you don’t know everything at the start and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll only learn by asking more and no question is a stupid one.

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